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5 Films you cannot miss at the 23rd Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival

reelasian2019We present five films you should t miss at the 23rd Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival, which will take place from November 7th – 15th 2019 in Toronto, Canada.

About the festival:
The Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival® is a unique showcase of contemporary Asian cinema and work from the Asian diaspora. Works include films and videos by East, South and Southeast Asian filmmakers in Canada, the U.S., Asia and all over the world. As Canada’s largest Asian film festival, Reel Asian® provides a public forum for Asian media artists and their work, and fuels the growing appreciation for Asian cinema in Canada. Founded in 1997 by producer Anita Lee and journalist Andrew Sun, this non-profit community-based festival has grown into an eagerly anticipated annual event that attracts thousands of attendees to ten exciting days of galas, screenings, forums, workshops and parties.

 

John Denver Trending

John Denver Trending by Arden Rod Condez – Philippines | 2019 – 96 minutes

John Denver Cabungcal is determined to pass 8th grade while helping his widowed mother make ends meet. After a school performance rehearsal, however, his life is upended after one of his classmates accuses him of stealing his iPad. This has not been the first time that he has been accused (and caught) for stealing, but John Denver is mad, because this time, he’s innocent. He snaps and gets into a fight with his accuser, but his accuser is popular, and his friends have recorded the assault and posted it on social media. The weaver town of Antique goes into a frenzy, and John Denver and his mother are caught in the vicious social media aftermath that cannot be undone.

Screening:
November 8th (Friday) | TIFF Bell Lightbox, Cinema 3 | 3:30 pm

Trailer:

 

 

Lucky Grandma

Lucky Grandma by Sasie Sealy – USA | 2019 – 100 minutes

In the heart of Chinatown, New York, an ornery, chain-smoking, newly widowed 80-year-old Grandma (Tsai Chin) is eager to live life as an independent woman, despite the worry of her family. When a local fortune teller (Wai Ching Ho) predicts a most auspicious day in her future, Grandma decides to head to the casino and goes all in, only to land herself on the wrong side of luck…suddenly attracting the attention of some local gangsters. Desperate to protect herself, Grandma employs the services of a bodyguard from a rival gang (Corey Ha) and soon finds herself right in the middle of a Chinatown gang war.

Screening:
November 8th (Friday) | TIFF Bell Lightbox, Cinema 3 | 8:30 pm (With Q&A)

 

 

Ms. Purple - Still 1

Ms. Purple by Justin Chon – Korea, USA | 2019 – 87 mintunes

In the dark karaoke rooms of Los Angeles’s Koreatown stripmalls, Kasie works as a doumi girl, a young hostess paid to cater to rich businessmen’s capricious whims. As she struggles to hide her sorrow through soju-and-MDMA-fueled nights, her mind is focused on one thing: earning enough tips to provide for her bedridden father. When her father’s caretaker unexpectedly quits, Kasie seeks help from her estranged brother, and the siblings are forced to reconnect and reconcile the suppressed trauma that lead to their separation.

Screening:
November 8th (Friday) | TIFF Bell Lightbox, Cinema 3 | 6:15 pm (With Q&A)

Trailer:

 

 

We are champions

We Are champions by Chang Jung-chi – Taiwan | 2019 – 115 minutes

With memories of the Raptors championship still fresh in our hearts and minds, we now
know how hard the journey is to be a champion. It takes endless amounts of strategy,
skill, and a few bounces of good luck (say, about 4 bounces on the rim?). It also takes
the intangibles of heart and kinship.

Born into the bottom rungs of society, two teenage brothers with nothing but each other
hope to change their fate through their love of basketball. Little brother Tung-hao joins
an elite school and transforms into a dazzling James Harden-esque superstar; big
brother Hsiu-yu brings his scrappy Steve Nash-game to a ragtag squad about to be
disbanded, finding an unexpected camaraderie in his never-say-die teammates.
Inevitably the brothers must cross paths on their way to ultimate basketball glory in the
HBL tournament (a March Madness-style Taiwanese high school basketball
championship).

Screening:
November 10th (Sunday) | TIFF Bell Lightbox, Cinema 3 | 5:15 pm

Trailer:

 

 

We Are Little Zombies - Still 4

We Are little zombies by Makoto Nagahisa – Japan | 2019 – 120 minutes

Standing outside a crematorium on a sunny day, four young strangers—Hikari, Ikuko, Ishi, and Takemura—meet by chance. They have each lost their parents under absurd circumstances, ranging from a car accident to murder, and they are drawn together by their shared inability to shed a tear over their loss. Like zombies, the quartet are devoid of all emotions and they possess no motivation or goals in life. So, what are they to do? Of course, form a kick-ass rock band! This is the story of how four “zombies” became viral sensations and swept the world by storm on their quest to recover what they have lost—their emotions—and perhaps gain something greater than that in the end.

Screening:
November 10th (Sunday) | TIFF Bell Lightbox, Cinema 3 | 8:15 pm

Trailer:

 

 

For more information about the festival please visit the official website of the Reel Asian here: https://www.reelasian.com/

 

  • – Still for Ms. Purple & We Are Little Zombies courtesy of Sundance Institute.
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